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Man who stole €3,300 from woman under guise of carrying out insulation work jailed for 14 months

The court heard Michael McGauley had gambling debts to pay off at the time of the offence.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

A MAN WHO stole €3,300 from a “vulnerable” woman under the guise of carrying out insulation on her house and making an investment for her has been jailed for 14 months.

Michael McGauley (46) with an address in Highfield, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of stealing money from Gemma Hazley at locations in Malahide and Swords, Dublin on 23 October and 24 October, 2018.

When tracked down by gardaí, McGauley asked them to apologise to the victim, saying he had had an “in-depth conversation” with her. “I believe she was a vulnerable person,” he said.

McGauley had a gambling addiction and gambling debts to pay off at the time, the court heard. He has 25 previous convictions, including five for theft. He was on probation at the time of the offence.

Sentencing McGauley yesterday, Judge Martin Nolan said he had no choice but to imprison him, given his previous convictions. “He has already had his chance,” the judge said.

He handed down a three-year sentence but suspended the final 22 months on a number of conditions, including that McGauley repay is victim the money he stole from her.

The court heard McGauley had saved up that money and a cheque to that amount has already been sent to gardaí to send on to the victim.

The court also heard that McGauley, who was working for an insulation company, took an €800 deposit from the victim for work he promised to carry out on her home.

He later told gardaí he had no intention of carrying out the work.

The following day, he met the victim in a car park in Swords and took a further €2500 from her, under the guise of investing it for her.

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McGauley was tracked down by gardaí through the mobile phone number he gave to his victim. He made immediate admissions, telling gardaí he was a gambling addict with debts to pay.

Kenneth Connolly BL, defending, said his client was extremely remorseful.

He said McGauley is now working for another insulation company and has been saving money on a weekly basis to repay his victim.

He is also attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings and has paid off his gambling debt.

“The victim will be paid back in full,” Connolly said.

About the author:

Isabel Hayes

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